Menu
Home

Protecting the Snyder Family

In March 2006, 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder was killed in Iraq. His family in Maryland was obviously devastated.

A week later, Matthew was buried, but that ceremony was interrupted by members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who traffic in expositions like this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH PROTESTERS: Semper Fi, Semper f-gs, coming home in body bags.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

These hateful fanatics believe that God is punishing America because the USA does not persecute gay people. Led by a loon named Fred Phelps, the church interrupts military funerals, telling grieving family members that God killed their sons and daughters. It doesn't get more vile than that.

Matthew's father, Albert Snyder, sued the church and won. A jury awarded the Snyder family almost $11 million because it found the church had intentionally tried to harm them. The judge in the case reduced the judgment to $5 million, but the church appealed.

Three federal judges in Virginia then overturned the verdict, saying the vicious protesters have a right to free speech. And then incredibly, the judges hurt the Snyders even more, awarding the Westboro cranks court costs, meaning the Snyder family has to pay more than $16,000 to their persecutors.

I said that is grossly unjust and I will pay the sanction.

Appearing on "Good Morning America" on Thursday, Mr. Snyder addressed the freedom of speech issue:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALBERT SNYDER, FATHER OF LANCE CPL. MATTHEW SNYDER: I find it insulting to all the other soldiers that have died. I find it insulting to the families. I find it insulting to the military and to the veterans. It's just — so many people have died in this country throughout our history to preserve such a precious right and to have a group of 80 people destroy it and mock it the way they are, it's a crime. It was just a nightmare. They positioned themselves about 30 feet from the main entrance of the church, and they held signs that said, "God hates you," "You are in hell," "Semper Fi f-gs."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

I also spoke on "GMA" reiterating that the federal judges are wrong and cruel to boot, and that we will assist the Snyder family as it takes its case to the Supreme Court.

And you can help, too. There's a Web site set up: MatthewSnyder.org. All donations will help the Snyders try to right this terrible wrong. It will cost them big money to take this to the Supreme Court.

As for the Westboro Baptist Church, it does have a right to spew its hateful rhetoric, but it doesn't have a right to be in your face. As I said, if President Obama were speaking at that funeral, you know damn well those people would have been a quarter of a mile away, not yards away.

The authorities in Westminster, Maryland, simply did not protect the Snyder family. This case demonstrates how out of whack we are in this country when it comes to dealing with evil. We simply don't know how to confront it, and the forces of darkness understand exactly how to use our system to do as much damage as they can.

We hope the Supreme Court will understand just how important the situation is to protect freedom, not limit it.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

Down in Fort Hood, Texas, the site of that awful massacre a few months ago, there is some good stuff going on.

Seventy-eight-year-old Elizabeth Laird, known as the "Hug Lady," continues to embrace American troops coming and going to and from the war zones. It is estimated Ms. Laird has delivered a half-million hugs, and for that she is a patriot.

Click here to watch "Pinheads & Patriots"!

On the pinhead front, this is not an April Fool's deal. Far-left actor John Cusack's new movie is called "Hot Tub Time Machine."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "HOT TUB TIME MACHINE")

ANNOUNCER: These four friends started partying in 2010 and woke up in 1986.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It must be some kind of hot tub time machine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to run into ourselves. We are ourselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

While promoting "Hot Tub Time Machine," which of course will be nominated for an Academy Award, Mr. Cusack took time out to hammer President Reagan's tenure in the White House, saying: "There was this militant patriotism, nationalism, faux spirituality to it."

I have no idea what that means, but I do know Mr. Cusack remains a pinhead.

You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com

Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly